Accepted name: Dendrochilum anomalum Carr, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 87 (1935)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.









Origin in the Wild


Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


600-1000 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species is an epiphytic plant that is found on heath, kerangas and hill forest. Jeffrey Wood wrote that it favours forest type with an open canopy where it receives higher levels of light (wood 2001).


This species has been found in Kalimantan Timur on Apo Kayan, Sabah in the Tenom District and on Mount Kinabalu. Within Sarawak this species has been found on Mount Dulit along the Koyan River.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs are crowded along the rhizome and shaped ovoid. The pseudobulbs measure 2.3-4cm long and 0.7-2cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are a yellowish-olive colour. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls soon disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 1.3-2.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped oblong-elliptic with obtuse to shortly apiculate apices. The leaf blades measure 9.3-15.5cm long and 3.3-4.5cm wide. The leaf margins are slightly recurved and the have 9 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect and measures 16-25cm long. The peduncle is yellowish-green. The rachis is arching to pendent and measures 17.5-27cm long. The rachis is a pale brownish-green colour and quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3-4mm apart; the inflorescence twists to form a spiral. There are 3-4 non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


Jeffrey Wood wrote that many flowers grow on an inflorescence. The flowers are either dull orange-yellow with an orange labellum that has reddish central parts or sepals that are greenish-cream, pale green or pale reddish brown tipped with brownish-pink, the labellum dark orange, pale brownish orange or pale reddish brown. The column is pale reddish-brown or orange. The anther cap is orange to salmon pink. The sepals and petals are minutely papillose on their under parts. The dorsal sepal is shaped narrowly oblong with an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 5.0-6.3mm long and 1.5-1.9mm wide. The dorsal sepal has entire margins and is 3-veined. The lateral sepals are shaped obliquely oblong-elliptic with acute or shortly acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 6-7mm long and 1.6-2.1mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins, are dorsally carinate at their apex and are 3-veined. The petals are shaped linear-ligulate or narrowly oblong-elliptic and have acute sometimes subfalcate apices. The petals measure 4.8-6mm long and 1.0-1.2mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are 3 veined. The labellum is 3-lobed, 3-nerved, 5-6mm long and 2-3mm wide when flattened and parallel with the column. The side lobes clasp the column and are shaped triangular with subacute apices. There is a transverse fold where the side lobes meet the epichile. The mid-lobe is abruptly recurved and shaped ovate with a subacute apex. The margins are minutely erose. There is a large V shaped keel that starts at the base of the hypochile and extends to the base of the mid-lobe. The central V shaped keel is joined by 2 smaller lateral keels to form an overall M shape. The column is papillose, curved and measures 4-4.5mm long. The column foot is short and papillose. The apical hood is transversely oblong with a truncate apex that has erose margins. The stelidia grow upwards from just below the stigmatic cavity and shaped narrowly triangular-falcate. The stelidia always terminate below the column apex.


Herbarium Specimens




Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen K000078889 (photo)





Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 24049.000





Other Herbarium specimens


Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 56663.000

Specimen 37529.000

Specimen 30620.000

Specimen 60398.000


National herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen - I could not locate the specimen




I could find no record


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during January, August, October and November.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum galeatum (see this page for differences)


Other Information


Jeffrey Wood wrote that this plant does not appear to have any close allies, Henrik Pedersen wrote (1995) in his East Malesia paper that Dendrochilum galeatum is most similar to Dendrochilum anomalum.


The epithet refers to this species isolated status within Dendrochilum.


Reference -


BEAMAN, Teofila, WOOD, Jeffrey, BEAMAN, Reed, BEAMAN, John. 2001, Orchids of Sarawak, Natural History Publications Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1995, Thirteen new species of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae), a new record from Burma, and a checklist of the genus in East Malesia. Nord. J. Bot 15:381-402. Copenhagen, Denmark.


WOOD, Jeffrey. 1997, Orchids of Borneo volume 3. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


WOOD, Jeffrey. Dendrochilum of Borneo, 2001. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Malaysia.


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 25 April 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 25 April 2009.